Rain drenches Olympic cycling, archery events

Associated Press Modified: July 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm •  Published: July 29, 2012

LONDON (AP) — Heavy rain drenched the women's road cycling race Sunday and strong winds rattled through tennis courts and the equestrian arena as the London Olympics faced its first encounter with Britain's often tempestuous weather.

Thousands of fans braved downpours along the 87-mile (140-kilometer) Olympic cycling route, while the riders themselves battled to keep control as they flew across pools of rainwater.

In London's Greenwich district, wind and rain forced a brief delay at the equestrian events and pulled loose the roof of an enclosure housing tournament judges.

To the south at Wimbledon, play in the Olympic tennis tournament was delayed for almost three hours amid repeated showers, and the arena's Center Court roof was rolled out to allow some matches to continue.

The archery competition — taking place at the capital's storied Lords cricket ground — was also blighted by downpours during a women's team quarterfinal between Denmark and South Korea.

Claps of thunder had announced the start of the women's road cycling race, close to Buckingham Palace, but spectator Simon Ashmore, 29, said the soaking conditions hadn't dampened the crowd's spirits.

"It was a fantastic atmosphere despite the rain. People were still jolly and everyone was sharing brollies," said Ashmore, using a British term for umbrellas.

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